Abel & Cole Family Cooking Guide

Abel & Cole has a fantastic offer for families, use the offer code LONDONBABY when you place your first order and you will receive the Abel & Cole cookbook and your fourth box will be free!!  Click here and begin your own journey with the best food in the world: Abel & Cole.

LONDONBABY promo header

A few years back, my mate and I were chasing our toddlers around our neighbourhood playground.  You can imagine the scene that every London parent has lived scores of times: we were nestled in the bottom of the echoing canyons of purpose-built flats, scurrying over a wood and metal climbing frame beneath the dense cloud cover of a chilly February sky having more fun than we could ever have imagined.  My friend handed me a small, unpeeled carrot she was giving to her kid, “how nutritionally pious” was my inward sarcastic remark, and for some reason I took a cheeky bite of it.  I am glad I did, it was the sweetest, juiciest, freshest vegetable I eaten in months, maybe years.

After I confessed to eating her carrot, my dear friend then told me about a company called Abel & Cole that delivers fresh, locally grown, organic vegetables and fruit to your door.   In all likelihood, she airily mused, that veg could have been picked just days before.  With the lingering taste of that gorgeous carrot in my mouth, so began my journey of feeding my family the very best tasting fruits and vegetables that I could possibly find.

Since early 2008, Abel & Cole has been a big part of my life.  When my kids come and sit down for a meal, I look them square in the eye and tell them they are eating the best food on the planet, so they better say nice things and eat without argument (it kind-of works).  When their friends from homes of the non-converted come to eat meals with us, they wonder why our vegetables all taste so delicious.

So much of our parenting revolves around the dining table: values, manners, caring for ourselves, caring for others, our household budgets.  I take comfort knowing that my family’s ever-increasing grocery budget supports a British company that supports mainly British farmers.  When I chat with these farmers at various London markets, they rave about the good and respectful business dealings they have with Abel & Cole.   These same farmers are doing important work for everyone in the UK by farming our soil without chemicals that pollute our food chain.  Further, Abel & Cole products have no air miles; when Mt. Eyjafjallajokull (the Icelandic ash cloud that grounded flights in Europe) erupted a few years back, grocery stores began running out of produce, but Abel & Cole did not.

In addition to the ethical supply chain, the fact that organic food is higher in nutrients changed what was, for me, a somewhat adversarial relationship with food into an extremely positive one.  I no longer feel that food is something I need to deprive myself of; instead I feel that my Abel & Cole food is so healthy and good for us we should all eat more.  Personally, my health improved a great deal when we converted to eating completely “out of the box”.  I went from needing mild steroid “maintenance med” to keep my asthma at bay, to merely needing a bit of occasional Salbutamol in the winter, when I have a chest cold.

From a household management standpoint, life is just so much simpler for us with Abel & Cole.  Firstly, they deliver the food to your door and you do not have to be home.  They had a key to the common part of our building for years and now leave the food in front of the house (or bring it in if I happen to be home); in over 5 years we have never had an issue with deliveries going missing or being late.  This is far more convenient than any other grocery delivery service I have used.

The food is priced very competitively.  Abel & Cole offers not just fruit and veg, but just about EVERYTHING (except nappies).  They have deli meats, sustainable fish, pasta, cereals, chocolate, cream, tinned tomatoes, lentils, rice, quinoa, cleanser, washing up liquid, laundry detergents, bulgar wheat, tampons, loo rolls, game, BBQ boxes of meat, beer (my husband would like to point out its not just beer – they have Yellowhammaer Ale, Red Kite Ale, Freedom Lager, Whitstable Bay Ale, Samuel Smiths Ale and amazingly delicious gluten-free Daas Blonde Beer), wine, spirits, baby food, snacks, spices, fresh herbs … not only do you really have no need to go to the grocery store again, but you can budget so much more easily.  They do weekly boxes for you at a great price, including a “Large Fruit and Veg Box” for 3-5 people for £25 and the “Baby and Toddler” fruit and veg box for £12.50.  We set our food budget for the month and keep to it by waiting for our weekly order; it forces us to stretch things out and wait for the next delivery.

What’s more, the recipes … every week in your box you will receive a beautifully photographed and packaged recipe card showing fabulously creative ways to cook your kale (toast and season it, Chinese style); swede (add vanilla, cream and puree); broad beans (add garlic, basil, lemon and make pesto); Jerusalem artichokes (grate, add flour, egg, seasoning and fry) … even the most reluctant vegetable eaters will be converted to these outliers of organic winter produce (and if you never want to try them again, you just click a button and you “disappear it”).  Cooks with well-established repertoires will learn and might even be challenged by the creativity in Abel & Cole recipes.

I contacted Abel & Cole and asked if I could become an “ambassador” for them.  I explained how much I know about “cooking out of the box” for a family, how much their company means to my own family, how much my kids enjoy learning  and talking about food and how I would like the opportunity to show other families how to make Abel & Cole work for them. I also want to help do away with the idea that this is food for fabulously wealthy people.  When we are watching every single penny, the four of us can get by comfortably on £80 a week, £70 when we have to go very lean.   This sounds like a lot but this is all we spend that week on food.  When our budget permits us to entertain dinner guests and buy lots of meat, regional cheeses, beer, detergents and spices, and (live a little), we might spend £130 a week.

Abel & Cole has a fantastic offer for families, use the offer code LONDONBABY when you place your first order and you will receive the Abel & Cole cookbook and your fourth box will be free!!  Click here and begin your own journey with the best food in the world: Abel & Cole.

In the coming weeks, look for posts that will introduce “cooking out of the box” for families and kids.  My recipes tend to take around 30 minutes, if much longer they go in the hot pot, and are filled with tricks to adapt them for fussy, little palates. My main recipes focus on using up extra veg, with tricks to making kid-friendly meals on a budget.  I will include all the great recipes I have modified from Abel & Cole, 101 Cookbooks and Mark Bitman.  Nigella, High, Nigel and Jamie all help inform my cooking, as well as smaller blogs like Mill Green Food.   The theory behind my cooking is taking the healthiest ingredients and getting my kids to eat them without breaking the bank.  I would like to ask you to take a look at the good side, support our farmers, our land and help your kids love the good food as much as mine do.

Check out my 100%, “Out of the Box”, only Abel & Cole recipes here:

Kid-Friendly, Mystic Garden Pizza

Pack Lunch on a Budget with Abel and Cole

Cold Comfort Easy Smoked Haddock Chowder

Abel and Cole Steak and Red Kite Ale Pie

Abel and Cole Family and Budget Friendly Super Food Chili

Feed My Soul: Abel and Cole Perfect Lentil Soup

Morning Glory: Abel and Cole Spelt Flour Pancakes

Oh My Squash – Kid ad Budget Friendly Veggie Curry

Abel and Cole organic hot dogs

Quick Chocolate Beetroot Muffins

10 Minute Slow Cooker Bulgur Wheat and Chicken

Kale and Quinoa Tabboulleh

The English Winter 20 Minute Stir-Fry

Thee Meals Hot Pot: Abel and Cole for Busy Families

Lemon Oatmeal Muffins

Simple Stir Fry for Busy Families

Be Sociable, Share!
468 ad